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And Before Shakespeare......The Mystery Plays View details

It sometimes seems as if the explosion of drama onto the Elizabethan stage sprang fully formed from nowhere. But, of course, as Shakespeare himself observed, nothing will come of nothing. There is imput from classical and contemporary European drama, but England too had a rich and developing history of drama, before theatre. Starting from a religious base, simple bible tales were transformed into realistic, and often comic, drama. Gradually invented stories commenting satirically on the original appear, then allegorical plays and and by the sixteenth century plays produced simply for entertainment. The day will be based on a play from one of the cycles of mystery plays and the more ambitious Second Shepherds’ Pageant from the Wakefield plays. The day will begin with a 2 hour session, followed by a lunch break and two one and a half our sessions with a tea break.

Anger and Irritability - Everyday Strategies View details

This course is for people who recognise that anger and irritability are adversely affecting their daily lives. It will explore the triggers, how they affect you and coping tools to reduce the impact anger has on your life and relationships. This course aims to build your confidence and self-esteem and to remove the stress caused by anger.

Anglo Saxon Culture View details

This course explores the language and culture of the Anglo-Saxons. It will cover a brief introduction to Anglo-Saxon history, culture and society, and the origins of the English language. It will provide participants with the opportunity to try out speaking, reading and translating Old English, and offer an account of the grammar and vocabulary of the language. No prior knowledge of Old English is needed.

Archaeology: Rediscovering the Romans in Cheshire and Lancashire View details

This course will review the archaeology of the Roman military at sites such as Chester, Manchester, and Ribchester, all the subject of recent archaeological excavation work, as well as recently identified Roman forts at Middlewich and Wigan. Recent research on the rural landscape, including farms and agricultural use and the alignment of Roman roads, will also be discussed. Finally the course will look at the rise and fall of Roman towns from Lancaster to Warrington and Chester and what coin hoards can still us about the occupation of the region.

Archaeology: The Stoneage Revolution in Britain -the Mesolithic to the Neolithic View details

Archaeologists are learning more and more about the first people to walk back to our landscape after the ice age and the people who followed them bringing new ideas of farming and building monuments such as Stonehenge. This course is an opportunity to find out what is being added by excavations and through new sciences such as genetics. Our courses are about learning together by talking about the past, having our own ideas and building the confidence to chat and learn. We are a relaxed and welcoming group, why not join us?

Archaeology: What lies beneath us? Archaeology of Tunnels View details

This short course is all about what lies beneath Pontefract, not the usual archaeology but the tunnels. Cities like Nottingham have well-known complexes of tunnels that have been researched by archaeologists. But Pontefract stands proud on a ridge above the surrounding landscape. How much were tunnels used in the town? Hiding priests or smuggling contraband between pubs. Or how much do we know of the tunnels and countermeasures used in the Civil War? This is as much a chance to tell your stories as it is to listen to our tutor. What tales of tunnels do you know?

Art and Mindfulness 1 View details

Introduction to drawing and painting techniques; Drawing with a range of drawing materials such as pastels charcoal, and painting with watercolour . Start a fresh with art or improve your art practice. Come and join a group of people in a warm and friendly atmosphere and enjoy making art with time to relax and reflect, making art from observation and imagination in a mindful way.

Art and Mindfulness 2 View details

Improve on and go deeper with drawing and painting techniques; Drawing with a range of materials such as oil pastels, chalk, charcoal, mixed media and painting with watercolour. Start a fresh with art or develop your art practice. Come and join a group of people in a welcoming and friendly atmosphere and enjoy making art with time to relax and reflect, making art from observation and imagination in a mindful way. Improve your well being through enjoying an art session joining with other people to make art and socialise. Develop a mindful awareness of colour and the environment around you and with guidance from the tutor start to develop your own art style.

Art and Music - Anniversaries and Exhibitions 2019 View details

Each session we will explore a topical subject concerning the history of the arts. It may be related to an anniversary, such as Rembrandt (died 1669) or a current London exhibition to be announced.

Art Appreciation of Mantegna View details

This course will provide an introduction to Andrea Mantegna, one of the most significant painters (and engravers) of the Italian Quattrocento. Based in northern Italy- first in Padua and then in the court of Mantua, and with strong links to Giovanni Bellini and developments in Venice- Mantegna created a highly distinctive version of the new, humanist style of art that we now call 'Renaissance'. Join us in exploring this restlessly innovative and engaging creative personality, and considering his place in the wider currents of art, society and culture at the turn of the fifteenth century.